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  #16  
Old 11-06-2008, 08:58 AM
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Yes, 88-89 - 103 motor, 90-92 - 3 liter 104, 93-95 - 3.2 liter 104.
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2008, 02:34 PM
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mbzman, according to a parts website I checked a 1989 300CE has a 103 engine with a single overhead cam and less horsepower than the 104 engine. Check the Owner's Manual when/if you look at the 1989 300CE.
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2008, 06:58 PM
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That makes sense that the '89 has the M103 which I believe the 300E had as well. As far as reliability is concerned, it sounds like this engine is fairly robust. I heard that oil leaks and valve guides can be a problem. The owner of the '89 CE says it drips a bit of oil on the garage. I guess I will take a look when I go see the car. It only has about 60k miles. Now what oil do you guys suggest for an older, low mileage car like this one? Will synthetic cause problems? I have an older air cooled Porsche and I have been using non-synthetic oil with a high level of zinc to condition the metals in the engine. Then again, the Porsche has flat tappets where the Mercedes has hydraulic lifters. As far as fuel, I understand premium is recommended. Is that just 91 octane or is a higher octane required?
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:14 PM
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W124's run on 91, but I have run 89 without any problems... I use Mobil 1 10W-30 in both of mine, one has 193K and the other 79K. I live in Kansas, and do not drive them in freezing weather. Which oil to use is really a subjective thing, people get very worked up over it...

The leak could be a head gasket getting ready to go. Get it inspected by someone who knows W124's before purchase. I would be concerned about that.

Good Luck,

-GH
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2008, 09:48 PM
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If the head gasket was failing wouldn't coolant be leaking? As far as those seatbelt presenters I think I know what you are talking about. They are those little tracks that slide the seatbelt forward so you don't have to reach for it, correct? If I pull the fuse won't they be sticking out where it will interfere with entry into the rear seat? Also, won't other accessories be inoperatable if I pull the fuse?
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2008, 08:59 AM
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You might check out this post, there are many similar as well:

Head Gasket

You eventually will have to address the issue whatever the cause, so you should price the car with that in mind...

Good Luck,

-GH
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2008, 05:56 PM
DrJ DrJ is offline
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The leak is probably the timing chain cover (I hope I got that term right). That's where mine leaks. It is a fairly simple repair, but I've not done it because it does not lose much oil, and oil is cheap.

Check to see that the valve stem seals have been done. They usually go out between 60K and 80K miles. With a car as old as the one you are looking at, they probably should be done if they have not already.

Air conditioning is another potential trouble area that is expensive to fix if it is important to you.

Check the rubber, from the suspension bits and pieces to the flex disk. There is lots of it, and rubber responds as much to age as mileage. Some are inexpensive and easy to fix, others are not (like the rear differential mounts).

Of course check the paint and interior condition (dash and leather cracking, for example). Those can very expensive to fix.

There's other bits and pieces, but a good PPI should find those.

And good luck! My '87 300E still runs and looks great.

Last edited by DrJ; 11-07-2008 at 06:16 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-14-2008, 11:16 AM
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I decided to go with the '89 CE. Will need a bit of work in the near future. Looks like there is more oil leaking than was expected. PPI revealed good compression but that a head gasket will likely need to be done. As well, there is a uneven idle, most likely due to a bad or dirty injector(s). Will a good cleaning agent help at all?
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  #24  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:04 PM
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Congrats on the purchase! You can try a fuel system treatment. I like Techron, available at almost any auto parts store or Walmart, etc. It's good stuff but won't work miracles.

There is some information on cleaning M103 fuel injectors if you use the search function on this forum... The injectors are only about $21 each, so replacing them may be easier than the guesswork and what-if's...

-GH
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  #25  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:42 PM
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I just put in some STP injector cleaner. I bought two treatments so I will see how it works. Pretty much the car won't stay running at cold start without some level of throttle. It drives smooth on the highway though. It is mostly the idle that concerns me. As far as injector cleaning and replacement, can this be done DIY?
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